COVID-19 and Personal Income

Only 35% of US workers saw any increase in earnings in 2020 according to a survey of employees in the US, UK and Canada sponsored by Elements Global Services.(1) The remainder saw no change in income or took pay cuts to keep working.

In keeping with the loss of spending power, the rebound in the economy seems a bit flat. Housing starts are up sharply from last year, but are still well below the peak of 2005.(2) Good news, but not great news. That seems to support the need for the recent stimulus legislation. The economy can’t hit full speed as long as so many consumers are under financial duress.

And we’re not done with COVID. We’re seeing surges in cases in New Jersey, Michigan and 19 other states, with probably more to follow the Spring Break insanity.(3) The US is still seeing 54,000 new cases per day, down from the high, but still way too much. The proportion of the US that has received a vaccination is still far too low to consider the disease as under control.

The woods may be thinning, but we are still in them.

Sources:

  1. https://www.benefitnews.com/news/employers-block-raises-and-bonuses-amid-pandemic?position=editorial_1&campaignname=EBN_Weekly_Coronavirus_Update-03222021&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBN_Weekly_Coronavirus_Update%2B%27-%27%2B03222021&bt_ee=BM6KXM%2BtDHcHDXXMOO50rXjeCFqsJXlpFEe6nXiURsJRMerZbPbf3tr%2B%2BjGKa5y1&bt_ts=1616418034432
  2. https://www.census.gov/econ/currentdata/dbsearch?program=RESCONST&startYear=1959&endYear=2021&categories=APERMITS&dataType=TOTAL&geoLevel=US&adjusted=1&notAdjusted=0&errorData=0
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/20/covid-cases-are-rising-in-21-states-as-health-officials-warn-against-reopening-too-quickly.html
  4. https://elementsgs.com/compensation-trends-2021/

7 comments

  1. Thank you for raising these points about wages: apparently real wages have been stagnating for years, against inflation and the with little to no cost of living raises, across the country for most workers. The rush to get “back to normal” will not help the situation, as many workers are being forced to work under conditions that could help re-spark the next surge. And since most of those “essential” workers get little to no health and time off benefits, and nearly no sick leave (especially not enough paid sick leave, when one gets any at all), we need to keep raising awareness and building empathy for all workers, and for ourselves as people in the same human boat.

    Thank you, Vic, for doing that work.

    Stay safe,
    -Shira

    (Sharing this post…)

    Liked by 1 person

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